Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Department of State Services (DSS), has confirmed that former African Action Congress (AAC) presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, is currently in its custody.
DSS Spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, who made the disclosure while addressing newsmen at the service’s headquarters in Abuja on Sunday, warned that the service would do the needful in trying him.
Alleging that he was collaborating with persons outside the country, the secret police, accused Sowore of planning a revolution, insisting that his action was tantamount to revolt, insurrection, insurgency and forceful takeover of government in a democratic system.
Although he refused to confirm the location of the detention facility Sowore is currently being held, the DSS spokesperson, however, warned that the service would do everything within its power to stop any threat to the unity of the country.
“In the last few hours, I have been besieged with messages and inquiries to find out whether or otherwise, Omolere Sowore is with the DSS.
“Let me say that the DSS is a responsible security and operating agency operating in Nigeria. Operating in a democracy, it has adhered strictly to the fundamental tenet and principles of democracy.
“The DSS is charged primarily with the detection and prevention of crimes and threats against Nigeria’s internal security. Fundamentally and more importantly, the service is also charged with the responsibility of managing, curtailing and eliminating threats to national security.
“These threats include sabotage, subversion, terrorism, threats against espionage, ethnic agitations among others.
“If we are operating as a responsible security organisation and someone is calling for revolution in Nigeria, which primarily means revolt, insurrection, insurgency, forceful take over of government in a democratic system, not a banana republic, a country respected in the comity of nations, a country, not just the giant of Africa but the pride of Africa, the DSS will not just sit by and watch someone and his cohorts threaten the peace, unity, constitutionalism of our beloved country,” he said.
Confirming the arrest and detention, he said: “Whether Sowore is with the DSS or not, the answer is an emphatic yes. He is with the DSS because he has crossed the lines by threatening public safety. He has threatened the peaceful coexistence and social harmony of this country.”
“There is apprehension and anxiety from citizens and residents. They are worried as to what will happen next. We want to use this opportunity to assure law-abiding Nigerians and friends of Nigeria, citizens of the world that come Monday August 5, 2019, there will be absolute peace in Nigeria, nothing will happen and there will not be any revolution.
“The government has been democratically elected and there will not be any forceful take over of the government. The DSS will not idle by and watch self-seeking people take the law into their hands. We will do all that is within the law to discharge our responsibility and ensure that there is peace in Nigeria beyond Monday, August 5.
“One of the highlights of democratic governance is periodic elections. If any person who contested an election and didn’t succeed, all he needs to do is to restrategies and wait for another election. He cannot shortly after an election begin a revolution against the winner of the election he participated.
“Let me limit the DSS to issues that concern public safety and our statutory mandate as enabled in the constitution, to ensure the protection of the internal security of Nigeria.
“It is not in doubt that we do it, because we will do it today, tomorrow and ever, as far as the entity Nigeria remains. We will not shy away from our responsibility but will discharge it with the utmost respect, loyalty, and patriotism.
“Nigeria has been in existence and the constitution requires that this country is indissoluble, indivisible, and we all must, as a matter of duty and patriotic zeal, support it. “We are calling on all Nigerians, all stakeholders, all persons of goodwill and good conscience to disregard the threat of revolution tomorrow and ever, support the state and the country. People should go about their normal businesses.
“We want to reiterate that come tomorrow, August 5 and beyond, there will not be anything like a revolution. We will work with all stakeholders to ensure that peace is maintained in every corner of this country. “We want to also reemphasis that the plot by some self-seeking individuals and groups to cause a breakdown of law and order, disaffection, disruption of social services, dislocate populations, shut down markets will not be tolerated or condoned.
“Would anyone had wondered if all these threats passed by and the DSS did not make a statement? The answer is an emphatic no. If we take possession of Sowore, are we not expected to do so and what would have been the reaction if we did not do that? Are we suppose to take him in, yes, did we act within the confines of the law and our mandate, yes, are we supposed to have done what we did, yes. Sowore is with us so that we can do the needful and follow it up,” he said.
On whether the service has the intelligence to confirm the threat of revolution from Sowore, he said: “There is no doubt that Sowore said that by himself that come August 5, there will not be Nigeria and that security services and institutions of government will seize to exist. What else do you want us to do other than what he himself has pronounced and the methodologies, strategies he has put in place that are in the public domain in the social media, a public information platform which made everybody aware of his threat.
“We want to reemphasis that we will act within the law and democratic process to ensure that whatever threat coming from him and or any group from anywhere is stopped. We are aware that he is also working with some persons outside Nigeria to cause disaffection, anarchy in the country. We cannot sit and watch that happen,” he warned.